Budding performers have just a few more weeks to enter Gigs10, the Mayor of London’s high profile busking competition that has kickstarted the careers of many singers.
There are many reasons to sign up for Gigs10: it’s great performance training; you get to play at some of London’s busiest and most iconic locations; and, if you impress the judges, you’ll take home a swag of great prizes.
The competition is run by Busk in London (BiL), which helps performers reap the professional and artistic rewards of busking.
How it works
There are three performance categories: youth (11 to 15 years old), soloists and duos (16 to 25 years old); and open (11 years and up, groups are limited to eight members).
There is also a Songwriting Prize, open to anyone entering Gigs who writes their own music.
To enter, fill out an online entry form and include a link to a video of you performing before the 10 June deadline.
If you’re chosen to take part, you’ll get to perform over the summer on an exclusive circuit of Gigs busking pitches. Every Gigs pitch is staffed by a Gigs Event Team and equipped with a battery-powered amp, microphone and stand. As Gigs is about stripped back performing, no fancy kit or equipment is allowed; all acts must be completely portable.
All acts will be seen by the judges during the live performance period. The judges will choose their top acts to reach the Grand Final, held on Sunday 2 September at Westfield London. The public can also vote online to choose their favourite acts to go through the Grand Final.
Last year’s Gigs Champion Josh Gleaves.
There are £15,000 worth of prizes from Gibson, Roland, Eurostar, Institute of Contemporary Music Performance. Finalists in the Songwriting category receive a songwriting masterclass with a successful industry writer. The overall winner will also get to perform at a high profile event, including to 9,000 people at the Feast of St George on Trafalgar Square.
But wait, there’s more
Even if you don’t make the Grand Final, participating in Gigs10 could open your eyes to the joys of street performing and the door to a new income stream.
All performers aged 16 years and over have the chance to join the London Underground Gigs Graduate busking circuit (performers are issued a temporary licence to busk on a small number of TfL pitches).
All performers aged 14 years plus have the chance to join Busk in London’s Network Rail busking scheme.
It’s also worth noting that BiL runs a talent-booking scheme where private landowners can book musicians for one-off gigs or regular slots.